Kevin DeYoung – The Humble Leader

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According to Numbers 12:3, Moses was more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth. What was it about Moses that caused this scribe (whom I take to be other than Moses) to come to such a lofty conclusion? No doubt, there are many examples of Moses’ humility in the Pentateuch, but let me point out three that are present in Exodus 18.

1. The humble leader shows respect to others. Moses was a big deal. He was God’s chosen instrument for leading the Israelites out of four centuries of slavery. He stood face to face against the most powerful man in the world (Pharaoh) and won. He was in charge of 2-3 million people, handling their complaints, leading them through the wilderness, and acting as the Supreme Court for their toughest disputes. Moses was the man.

And yet, when he was reunited with his family, he showed Jethro, his father-in-law the proper respect by going out to meet him, bowing down, and kissing him on the cheek. Moses then hosted Jethro in his tent and told him all that the Lord had done for Israel’s sake.

Of course, in one sense, this was all small potatoes. Moses was simply doing what would have been expected of him as a son (or son-in-law) in that culture. But the fact that Jethro is called Moses’ “father-in-law” twelve times in chapter 18 suggests that we are meant to see how Moses gladly accepted his role relative to Jethro. Good leaders understand that though they may have power, prestige, and position in certain areas, this does not mean they should expect to be feted and lauded wherever they go. We all inhabit a web of different relationships. True humility understands that no matter how important we may seem, we must still show proper deference and respect to those whose age or position require it.

2. The humble leader is willing to change. Again, it takes great humility to be in charge of as much as Moses was and still be willing to take advice from others. When it came to getting Israel organized for maximum effectiveness (and minimum frustration), Moses gladly listened to Jethro’s advice, even though he was only a visitor and a one-day old convert.

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John Piper – Men, Love and Lead Your Wives

Husbands, your wife is not your cook, maid, or personal babysitter. She is your wife, an heir of this world, and a future queen of the universe. In this message, Pastor John explains what it takes for a husband to lead his wife in a way that honors her and honors God.

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Rob Fattal – 9 Ways to Pursue Spirit-Led Leadership

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Leadership is a tough concept to grasp, especially for those that are in or aspire to leadership positions. There are endless perspectives, books, commentaries, and motivational content on how to become a “better” leader. Much of the information is helpful yet it’s insufficient if your aim is to get beyond worldly wisdom. For Christians, Jesus promises much more—to be personally and practically lead by the Spirit as you lead in your homes and workplaces.

Acts 1:5 says, “For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Acts presents this beautiful pattern of conversions where the eventual result is being sealed with the Spirit. Look at Acts 2 where the Spirit is poured out at Pentecost. The power of the Spirit in that setting was astonishing, amazing, and bewildering (Acts 2: 6-7). To the onlooker, the role of the Spirit is incredible because the disciples are able to do things that they could never do relying on their own power. As a young Christian, I had to work this out and learn what it meant to have been baptized by the Spirit. Personally and practically, Spirit-led leadership is important. I’m a husband, my wife and I have 4 young children, and I’m the CEO of a fast-growing company with 50+ employees. The truth is, by my own strength, I’m insufficient and under qualified. Yet God has called me to these things, and it’s in these things that I submit to him on a daily basis. Spirit-led leadership is not a one-time concept you just grasp. It’s a daily fight that requires diligence, prayer, and seeking the Lord’s will for all of your life.

As a leader, there’s no shortage of issues to work through. I’d argue that leaders are making hundreds of influential decisions on an annual basis. Often times, if you’re leading, your decisions are affecting many. Whether you call it your conscience or not, you will often know what “feels” right in certain situations. In every tough decision that I have to make, there’s usually a very clear answer as to what’s right and good. It’s not often an easy decision, yet there is a right decision to be made. This requires the leader to be mindful and receptive to what the Spirit is doing in their hearts and minds. In Ed Welch’s book, Addictions, A Banquet in the Grave, he speaks of this attentiveness. He gives the analogy that a soldier can hear a twig snap because they’re so alert and aware of what’s happening around them. That’s what Spirit-led leadership is like. It demands we stay alert.

In my study of the Old Testament, I’ve noticed an interesting pattern. Leaders succeed because the Lord allows their success. Typically, failure results from disregarding godly wisdom and counsel because of pride and/or idol worship. Build in time to study 2 Chronicles and you’ll get a front row seat into leadership successes and failures. Brothers and sisters, this is not an obscure pattern that we should overlook. Whether in your homes or workplaces, allow others to speak into your life. Let your guard down and allow the Spirit to work through other godly influences in your life. What’s the worst thing that can happen? They’ll find out that you’re a sinner? For the sinner, there’s grace. There’s a Father that loves us so much, that he sent his Son to be the propitiation of our sins. We are washed by the blood of the Lamb and that’s good news to the aspiring leader!

In an effort to share how leadership failures have shaped my wife and I, I wanted to share nine stories and situations that we had to work through. I really struggled to get through these situations, so I’m calling you to learn from my mistakes and the pattern of repentance.

1. PRAY THROUGH DECISIONS AND BE ATTENTIVE TO WHAT THE SPIRIT IS IMPRINTING ON YOUR HEART AND MIND DURING PRAYER.

Remember, prayer does not always move the hands of God. It often shapes us and changes our hearts so that our will aligns with his. I’ve also learned to commit huge decisions to prayer for a period of time then to make a decision at the end of that period. I’ve worked with so many ineffective leaders because they’re indecisive. Pray and fast for a period of time then make your decision. I found myself paralyzed by indecisiveness until our CFO started encouraging us to set deadlines for decision making. This came after periods of time where I was not making tough decisions that I had to make.

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Dr. Albert Mohler – “The Lady’s Not for Turning” — Margaret Thatcher and the Leadership of Conviction

Margaret Thatcher, one of the most significant leaders of the 20th century, died yesterday at age 87. A model of convictional leadership, Margaret Thatcher became almost universally known as Britain’s “Iron Lady.” In May 1979, Margaret Thatcher moved into No. 10 Downing Street and changed the course of British history. Beyond this, Lady Thatcher changed the terms of debate on both sides of the Atlantic and left a legacy of leadership that should inspire generations to come.

Born October 13, 1925 in the village of Grantham, Margaret Roberts was soon recognized as an unusually bright and forceful child. Her father, Alfred, was a grocer who had high hopes for his children. The Roberts household was a place of firm discipline, Christian nurture, and intellectual activity. After graduating from Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School, Margaret Roberts entered Oxford University, where she earned a degree in chemistry and became the first woman to serve as President of the Oxford University Conservative Association. Shortly thereafter, she married Denis Thatcher, an executive in the chemical industry. Together, they were to have two children, Mark and Carol. After over a half century of marriage, Denis Thatcher died in 2003.

Margaret Thatcher’s role as President of the Oxford University Conservative Association indicated two factors that would play a large part in the future of Great Britain. First, her political philosophy and worldview were solidly grounded in the conservative tradition. Her leadership in Britain would be considered revolutionary only because that nation had strayed so far from any conservative philosophy of government and economics. Second, Margaret Thatcher’s leadership at Oxford was indicative of her leadership ability as it would be later recognized by her political peers.

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Dr. Albert Mohler – Leadership as Stewardship, Part Two

Jesus once told of a wealthy man who went on a long journey. Before the man left, he entrusted his wealth to three servants. To one he gave five units, to another just two units, and to the last he gave only one. Each received “according to his ability,” Jesus said. The servant with the five units invested them and made five more. The one entrusted with two units also traded with them, and made two more. The servant who had received only one unit dug a hole in the ground and hid it, keeping it safe, he thought.

When the rich man returned, he demanded an accounting. The servant who had received five units but turned in ten was richly praised and rewarded. “Well done, good and faithful servant,” said the master. “You have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much.” The servant who had doubled two units to four received the same commendation.

The last servant, who hid his master’s wealth in the ground, returned what he had been given; nothing lost, but nothing gained. The master rebuked him harshly, calling him wicked and taking his stewardship away. Then Jesus set down this principle: “For to everyone who has more will be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” [Matthew 25: 14-30]

Stewards are entrusted with great responsibility. Those who lead are entrusted with a stewardship that comes ultimately from God and will be judged by him alone in the end. We are given a job to do and significant authority as a trust. We will shipwreck our leadership for certain if we do not remember that we are stewards, not lords, of all that we hold by trust.

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Dr. Albert Mohler – Leadership as Stewardship, Part One

Christians are rightly and necessary concerned about leadership, but many Christians seem to aim no higher than secular standards and visions of leadership. We can learn a great deal from the secular world and its studies of leadership and its practices, but the last thing the church needs is warmed over business theories decorated with Christian language.

Christian leaders are called to convictional leadership, and that means leadership that is defined by beliefs that are transformed into corporate action. The central role of belief is what must define any truly Christian understanding of leadership. This means that leadership is always a theological enterprise, in the sense that our most important beliefs and convictions are about God. Our most fundamental beliefs about God determine everything else of importance about us. If our beliefs about God are not true, everything we know and everything we are will be warped and contorted by that false knowledge – and this fact points to a huge problem.

The culture around us has its own concept of God, and it has little to do with the God of the Bible. Out in the fog of modern culture, God has been transformed into a concept, a therapist, a benign and indulgent patriarch, and a user-friendly deity. As theologian David F. Wells states so powerfully, “We have turned to a God that we can use rather than a God we must obey; we have turned to a God who will fulfill our needs rather than to a God before whom we must surrender our rights to ourselves. He is a God for us, for our satisfaction, and we have come to assume that it must be so in the church as well. And so we transform the God of mercy into a God who is at our mercy. We imagine that he is benign, that he will acquiesce as we toy with his reality and co-opt him in the promotion of our ventures and careers.”

In the aftermath of this crisis in the knowledge of God, many essential truths are eclipsed or lost entirely, and one of those truths is the principle of stewardship.

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Justin Holcomb – 9 Types of Leaders in Scripture

Though it does not focus on leadership development methods or offer lists of strategies for being a great leader, the Bible is filled with numerous examples of leaders, both good and bad. There is a lot to be learned simply by examining the various leaders in Scripture.

1. The prototype

Moses stands as the prototype of a leader in the Old Testament. He served the people of Israel as a prophet, a judge, a king, and a priest. He brought the word of the Lord both to Israel and to Pharaoh (Exod. 3–11), he heard Israel’s complaints (Num. 27:1–4), he led the nation out of Egypt (Exod. 12:31–15:21) and ran military campaigns (Exod. 17:8–16), and he officiated the first Passover (Exod. 12).

Moses can easily be viewed as an example of good leadership. In fact, the stark contrast between a good and a bad leader is clear in the difference between Moses and his brother, Aaron, who gives in to the people’s demands for a golden calf (Exod. 32:4) and shifts the blame to the people and away from himself (Exod. 32:22).

Yet even Moses, the prototypical leader, experienced failure. When Israel complained to him concerning their lack of water in the wilderness, Moses went before the Lord, who told him to speak to a rock from which God would pour forth a stream of water (Num. 20:1–8). However, Moses, in his frustration, struck the rock and was prohibited from entering the promised land because of his disobedience (Num. 20:9–12).

2. Prophets

Prophets functioned in Scripture as God’s mouthpiece: they spoke judgment (Ezek. 13), encouragement (Mic. 4:1–5), exhortation (Mal. 2:1–9), and hope of restoration (Isa. 40–66). God’s word was spoken with integrity by prophets such as Huldah (2 Kings 22:14) and Jeremiah (Jer. 36). In the New Testament, John the Baptizer functioned as a prophet, leading Israel to repentance and telling Israel of deliverance in the person of Jesus (cf. Matt. 3:1–12; Mark 1:1–8).

3. Priests

Priests, also serving as leaders, were responsible for teaching the law (cf. Ezra in Neh. 8–9; 2 Chron. 17:8, 9). They led in sacrifice (Lev. 1–7), atonement (Lev. 16:29–34), cleansing (Lev. 13), and feasts (Lev. 23). However, priests often failed by setting up idols (Jer. 2:8), leading people astray (Ezek. 7:26), loving money (Jer. 6:13), and embracing corruption (Jer. 18:18). Jesus goes so far as to tell a parable against the priests (Matt. 21:33–46), and Paul says that the wrath of God came upon the Jewish leadership because they killed Jesus (1 Thess. 2:14–16).

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